He donated over 1600 books and portfolio works from his collection to the GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst in 2022. With around 600 works, the exhibition offers a journey through 150 years of modern illustration art. On display are around 375 illustrated books and 225 graphics from portfolios and original graphic single sheets.
In the 19th century, book art experienced a revival
- thanks to new printing techniques - a comeback that continues to this day. Artists, publishers and printers together helped illustration to blossom again - it developed from its subordinate role as book decoration to a page-filling protagonist. At the same time, illustration always remains embedded in the haptic overall work of art that is the book, alongside the cover, paper, typeface, typesetting and layout. More and more frequently, her twin sister, the portfolio, appears on the stage. In this, original graphics are sometimes published detached from the book block and the written original. Nevertheless, literature is the central driving force for modern graphics in portfolios as well as for the single sheet. Illustration in particular, which is always textual interpretation, reflects central issues of the time through the selection of literary materials and brings figures from world literature to life - be it Doktor Faustus, Odysseus, Tonio Kröger, Struwwelpeter
or Dr. Jekyll. But entertainment and lightness are also guaranteed in the exhibition:
not only through the high artistic quality of the works, but also through humorous, erotic and suspenseful scenes. In addition to the different artistic signatures, the diverse means are inspiring: contrasting colours and fine grey tones are juxtaposed with delicate flowing lines and strong angular surfaces, or narrative scenes with abstract atmospheric images. There is no artistic trend that is not reflected in the illustrated book. Thus, Wieland Schütz's collection offers a comprehensive spectrum from Impressionism to Art Nouveau and Expressionism to Surrealism, Pop Art and Nouveau Realisme to contemporary illustration of the 21st century.
A strong French block reflects international modernism in a particularly impressive way. The even more extensive German contribution once again also underlines the rank of Leipzig as a publishing location and the contribution of East German illustration art.
A richly illustrated catalogue with contributions by Julia Blume,
Karoline Schliemann, Berndt Schultz and Olaf Thormann is published by Faber & Faber with
a design by the Berlin office Heimann + Schwantes. (300 p. with 300 colour illustrations. In
hardcover with dust jacket, German/English, 39 €, ISBN 978-3-86730-256-2)
An extensive programme of events accompanies this exhibition.